Source for Coarse Vermiculite and Expanded Shale

15 years ago

I am attempting to find a source or sources for Coarse Vermiculite and Expanded Shale in the Houston, TX area. I have a Pickup and will travel a reasonable distance. Any help would be appreciated.

Comments (43)

  • graydawn
    15 years ago

    I buy vermiculite at Home Depot.

  • Jacque_E_TX
    15 years ago

    I get expanded shale from an upscale plant nursery in Dallas. The shale is a solid rock, so it will outlast generations of gardeners. The coarse vermiculite has to be replaced because the fragile mica breaks up.

    Fine vermiculite is still great stuff for starting many seeds and keeping carrot seeds moist for the 2 weeks before they "hatch," heh.

  • frugal_gary
    15 years ago

    Try CJM Soil Supermarket in Richmond for expanded shale, I think they have a location on I 10 west in Houston also. I saw thier name on TXI's website for bulk products. Please tell us what you find.

  • reptilegrrl
    15 years ago

    I get coarse vermiculite from Southest Fertilizer- is their site. They are at 5828 Bissonnet.

    this is the only place in Houston that I could find coarse verm last year!

  • bluejean
    15 years ago

    I have been looking for Vermiculite and/or Expanded Shale as well. I am in the Cincinnati area. Our homedepot and lowes don't have any yet. I have seen on here where people have bought it from concrete suppliers before. Any thoughts on that? Our bed is quite deep (2foot) and will require a lot! Thank you!

  • mimo777
    15 years ago

    Any ideas for vermiculite in NJ? I am outside of Atlantic City.

  • bluejean
    15 years ago

    Woohoo.. I have been on the phone for the past 2 hours calling everyone and anyone with any connection to Vermiculite and have finally scored big! woohoo! I finally called the small garden center down the road (after trying building suppliers and the such) and the guy there said he would sell me some pretty big bags for only $10/ bag. I haven't seen them yet.. but I plan to go and pick them up after work tonight. Such a nice guy too... living in the country sure does have its benefits!

  • tiarnna
    15 years ago

    Wow....... $10/bag would have me green with envy.....or else I got taken. LOL I had to order it from our feed store. HD wouldn't, and Ace Hardware said they had no source.

  • bluejean
    15 years ago

    I don't think you got taken. My area is very rural and the people just bend over backwards to help eachother out. It is a unique culture I have only seen in one other area in my life. I told them what I was trying to do and asked for suggestions and luckily he was able to help me out. Apparently though I could have got the same product from a building supplier locally for only $8.00 bag.. but the guy there didn't know if it was safe for horticultural use. but, now I know where to go for my next bed(s)!

    I am just so excited I can already taste my first tomato! Yummy!

  • tekneek74
    15 years ago

    I have been searching the Internet tonight trying to find a source for vermiculite, since we were just turned onto square foot gardening via a show our TiVo caught on BYU the other day.

    I found it at and the prices seem quite reasonable. Has anyone tried them or notice any problems with their product?

    We are in Bethlehem, GA (about 17-20 miles from west of Athens, GA), so if anyone knows of stores local to us (even including the Atlanta metro area), please let us know.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Source for Schundler Coarse Horticultural Vermiculite

  • dahlkdg
    15 years ago

    Coarse vermiculite is used to ship liquids that may spill and need to be soaked up. A good source for vermiculite is from shipping materials companies. I picked up two bags of 4 cu. ft. grade 4 (coarse) at Uline (, search for 'vermiculite' on their website). They have locations in Chicago (my area), Atlanta, Dallas, Philadelphia/NYC, Los Angeles and Minneapolis. Not the cheapest, but certainly convenient.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Uline

  • dgkritch
    15 years ago

    Often available at Hydroponic supply stores too.

  • linderbean
    15 years ago

    anyone know where someone from the chicagoland area can get expanded shale?? [crossing fingers...]

  • dirt_tracker Alabama Zone 8A
    15 years ago

    linderbean, I've been looking for the same down here in Alabama. What I've found is that it is used in the cement/concrete industry and is often referred to as "lightweight"...beware though...there are several items in the industry that is referred like that, such as a clay lightweight and some synthetics. Also, I believe I read where there is also a "treated" expanded shale.

    The expanded shale that we are interested in is often used in cement/concrete mixes where the engineer's design is for lightening the structure.

    You might call around to some of the cement companies and explain which "lightweight" you are looking for (untreated expanded shale)...and what you want to use it for.

    Best wishes,
    South Central Alabama

  • mbat
    15 years ago

    I was able to get vermiculite at our local Agway store -- $16 per bag -- about 3.5 cu. feet.

  • acinorev07
    14 years ago

    I found coarse vermiculite in Cranbury, NJ at DG Supplies. They sell it online too, but I picked it up from their store so I do not know how much shipping is. The 3 cu ft box is $16.50 and the 1 cu ft bag is $5.50. Very reasonable, considering a nearby nursery was selling it for $9.50 per 18 qt bag (1 cu ft is 32 quarts).

    The key to finding it online is to search for Grade 4 or Coarse vermiculite. That's how I found this supplier, after looking for 3 days.

    Here is a link that might be useful: DG Supplies

  • pieheart
    14 years ago

    Anyone know where to find vermiculite in NWNJ? I can't find it locally anywhere..........I've checked HD, Lowes, and the few local nurseries that are left and might stock it. All the perlite you could desire, but vermiculite is in tiny bags and very expensive. I'd rather buy it in person, not online.

  • jmaellis
    14 years ago

    Vermiculite and Perlite can be very expensive. I did a lot of searching around for the best price; both locally and on the internet. The best price I found was at a local nursery ... 3.5 cu. ft. of Vermiculite or Perlite for $20.

    Wal-Mart sells 8 quart bags of Perlite for $3.00 each. That equates to approximatley $10 per cu. ft. so the bulk product from the nursery is acutally quite a bargain (surprising, to me anyway).

    I searched around in the garden centers at HD, OSH and the like. They only sell the smaller 4 or 8 quart bags and when added up, the prices are worse than the Wal-Mart price.

    Here is a link that might be useful: My SFG blog

  • pieheart
    14 years ago

    I'm confused, I was told by my local nursery that vermiculite and perlite were NOT interchangeable. Is that true? Because I can find huge bags of perlite locally.

    But no one carries the vermiculite. How I miss the mom and pop hardware stores we used to have----they had just about everything you could want, or knew where you could get it. Now we just have HD or Lowes, good for some things, but not good if you want something out of the ordinary.

  • jmaellis
    14 years ago

    If I recall correctly, in Mel's SFG book he says that Perlite or Vermiculite can be used ... he just prefers Vermiculite.

    Here is a link that might be useful: My SFG Blog

  • appmy
    14 years ago

    i am compiling a list on my site for sources of vermiculite. We have about a half dozen confirmed sources around the country. If you know of one please post a comment on the page and I will keep a list updated. I'll post a link below of what I have so far and you can add to it.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Sources of Vermiculite

  • compostguy
    13 years ago

    You can find expanded shale in Dallas at Soil Building Systems. They sell it by the bag and in bulk at the cheapest prices I've been able to find. Check it out -

    Here is a link that might be useful: SoilBuildingSystems

  • sinfonian
    13 years ago

    Actually, the SFG book says that Perilite is not a good substitute for vermiculite. It apparently rises to the surface over time (unlike vermiculite) and therefore shouldn't be used.

    I need to do more calling around myself. I can get a 3.5 cubic feet bag of "certified asbestos free" vermiculite for $28 at my local nursery. I hope I can find it cheaper after reading this and other posts.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Sinfonian's gardening adventure

  • cowboymc
    13 years ago

    I found a great deal in my area. Company is W H Milikowski, 42 Colonia Dr, Piscataway, NJ 08854. Phone: 1-866-465-9004 1 bag 4 cu ft of coarse vermiculite for $13.15. IÂm done searching. Good luck!

  • veganmom30
    13 years ago

    I've gone the route and did fine with it.


  • malkiri
    13 years ago

    I found the 4 cu ft bags of coarse vermiculite in the Raleigh, NC area at LoganÂs Trading Company, for $22 each.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Logan's Trading Company

  • ggarrett
    13 years ago

    You can get it at Jimbo's Wholesale Nursery in Santa Fe. 4 cu ft bags of course vermiculite for $15.

  • jcoenen
    13 years ago

    My local Menards has a 3.5 cu ft bag for $8.99. It is in the insulation section.

  • JJezier_swbell_net
    12 years ago

    Living Earth Technology
    has several locations in the DFW metroplex as well as Houston area. They carry expanded Shale in bulk at the sites. They also offer many of their products in bags. The bagged goods are not always carried at the yards so if you are looking for the bagged goods call ahead. In the Dallas and mid-cities area, Redentas carries their products in bags.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Living Earth Technology

  • twatters
    12 years ago

    Call swimming pool installers and ask where they get their course vermiculite for their "pool base". I was referred to a nearby lumber yard that stocked it solely for local swimming pool companies. It is attic insulation but as the lumber yard clerk said, "nobody uses this stuff for insulation anymore but we always stock it for the pool companies". Cost me $10.50 per 3.5 cu. ft. bag.

  • stevesj76
    12 years ago

    Has anyone found an expanded shale source in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle area)?

  • miss_ti
    11 years ago

    Source for Vermiculite in Houston:
    Vermiculite Products Inc.
    3025 Maxroy St
    Houston, TX 77008
    (713) 869-6663
    Kind of near Memorial area
    $8 for a 4c.f. bag (grade 3, though, so almost as coarse as 4)
    Note that they only accept cash or cheques. No credit cards.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Vermiculite Products Inc. on Yelp

  • aztcqn
    11 years ago

    Am looking for a source of expanded shale in Los Angeles. If anyone can point me in a direction, would most appreciate it.
    Meantime am waiting for a call from Tru Gro rep for distributors.

  • magnetlady4u
    11 years ago

    If you go to in the forums area they have listings for vermiculite. They are in the process of making a "directory" for locations. But you can just scroll through and maybe find your area.

  • cathy_reen_us
    10 years ago

    i am looking for a source for expanded shale in western new york,which includes Buffalo, lancaster, amherst etc.i need to add to my clay soil this year.

  • coppercurls
    10 years ago

    If anyone is looking for vermiculite in the NW Arkansas area, I found 4 cubic foot bags at Nitron Industries in Johnson, AR.

  • tessanoel1999_yahoo_com
    10 years ago

    I've found expanded shale at Calloways here in NDFW. 9.99 for a 40 lb. bag. My question, can I use the shale instead of vermiculite?

  • tessa74
    10 years ago

    found my answer. it is YES!! Yippee!

  • mctoon
    10 years ago

    I found bulk expanded shale in Minneapolis for $71 per cubic yard. It's bulk so you need a truck or trailer. That's $2.70 per cubic foot.

    Note: 1 cubic yard = 27 cubic feet = 202 gallons

    Best vermiculite price I found locally was $15 for a 3 cubic foot bag, that's $5 per cubic foot.

    This is the place:

    It took me a week to find it. 30 emails and 10 phone calls. The concrete industry isn't quite as internet savvy as other industries.

    To help those looking for your own local supplier. Lookup a somewhat local manufacturer on the industry web page:

    Then see if they list distributors. I called a few to get someone to mention the name of a guy locally.

    I have a feeling it's in every major metro area, it is heavily used in construction.

  • Butch Fomby
    6 years ago


  • Jess
    last year

    Still looking for sources of expanded shale in Los Angeles area!! Why are these thing so hard to find??

  • yolos - 8a Ga. Brooks
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I just bought a couple bags of course vermiculite online from A.M. Leonard. Occasionally they have free shipping. So I paid 23.39 per 4 cubic foot bag and no shipping cost (due to a special sale). Palmetto Coarse Vermiculite.

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